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First Conservation Memorial Forest In Massachusetts To Open In The Berkshires

NORTH ADAMS (CBS) -- The first conservation memorial forest in the state is being created in the Berkshires. The California-based company Better Place Forests aims to provide a sustainable alternative to traditional cemeteries.

If someone chooses to be cremated, their ashes can be spread at a private tree within the forest in Drury. The tree is protected but open for loved ones to visit.

The land's previous owner, a long-time Berkshire resident, has already chosen a tree for himself. "It's a comforting feeling. You know that this is where your remains will be, and it's so connected to nature, it's beautiful, and it's very peaceful," said Dwight Brown.

Better Place Forests Founder Sandy Gibson said, "What we wanted to create was a beautiful place to visit but most importantly a beautiful memory so that when you think of the people that you love, you think of a place that's beautiful and full of life."

There's an element of environmental conservation to this as well since the ashes provide benefits for the trees and other plant life.

Virtual tours will be available next month and the forest is expected to officially open later this year.

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